Why You Should Care That We’re Independent
Consolidation has hit the communications industry, resulting in four humongous (great adjective) holding companies — Omnicom, IPG, WPP and Publicis — controlling over 90 percent of the budgets earmarked for consultancies.
We’re an outlier.
More importantly, our independence directly relates to our No. 1 mission in life: do great work.
Sure, if you were to ask 100 PR agencies if they’re client-centric, you’ll get 100 PR agencies answering with an emphatic “yes.” But their behavior and reward systems don’t align with that claim. Instead, they focus on the financial side, which manifests itself with account people being measured by their “billability.”
In contrast, we measure our account folks only on variables that matter to clients and their campaigns. This comes back to a belief that if we deliver great work to clients, the financial performance follows (as opposed to the numbers being the lead pin).
It means that our clients gain the best of both worlds: sophisticated campaigns with high-touch management.
Our mentality and how we approach communications in all our offices around the world have been shaped by the tenets of Silicon Valley:
- Never satisfied with the status quo
- Intelligent risk taking
- Team-oriented culture
- Flat hierarchy
Defining Public Relations to Include Organic Search
There’s one common action that virtually every buyer around the world takes. It doesn’t matter whether the individual is looking for semiconductors, network security or office chairs, the buyer conducts some form of online due diligence through search.
This explains why SEO consultancies specializing in paid search have propagated and how Google generates billions of dollars from AdWords or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. In short, paid search is a BDD.
On the organic search side — the action of plugging a word or phrase into a search engine and receiving listings that are NOT paid for — these same SEO consultancies learned how to work the system to pick up incremental revenue. Because the Google search algorithm favored the technical side over content, they could help their clients get served up in organic search results when they didn’t necessarily have quality content or even relevant content.
That’s no longer the case.
With the launch of its Hummingbird update in 2013 and other updates since, Google has cracked down on the traditional SEO consultancies conducting unsavory acts to game organic search. With the organic search playing field increasingly tilting toward high-quality content — defining “high quality” as useful, educational or amusing — our campaigns often address building an online presence to strengthen organic search.
This is bigger than social media, a subset of online presence. For a deeper look at our approach in this area, check out our SlideShare deck below called, “The Blurring Line Between Digital Marketing and PR.”
The Building Blocks That Differentiate The Hoffman Agency
Client-centric Business Model
As an independent company, we measure our account professionals on areas that benefit the client — ingenuity, initiative, creativity, teamwork and smarts. We believe that if we hire great PR people (good work ethic, smart, passionate about their craft) and secure good clients (mutual respect, budget aligns with expectations, belief in the value of PR) and tell account people their No. 1 mission is to do great work, the financial part follows.
Results-driven Execution over the Long Term
Any PR agency can call out singular pieces of work to seemingly demonstrate its execution abilities. What makes us stand out is our ability to execute PR programs week after week, month after month, and deliver measurable results. We build our account teams from the top down with senior professionals, so we can develop strategies and creativity that elevate programs above the norm.
Holistic Approach to Communications
By bringing together owned media, earned media and even paid media in some cases, we can tune our campaigns to your specific objectives. With this in mind, our expertise goes beyond traditional PR, ranging from SEO to content development to WordPress.
To see how this type of thinking comes to life, check out this Sony case study and the “how” behind increasing monthly page views from 28,430 to 135,002.
Relationship-building in a Digital World
Everyone recognizes the power of social media in building a company’s public profile. What’s easy to forget is that the fundamentals that go into effectively building relationships haven’t changed. The more we can help a person do his or her job — putting the client dimension to the side for a moment — the more likely we advance the relationship. Such thinking underpins how we work with journalists.
We’ve embraced an approach to developing content that encapsulates the elements of storytelling. Whether the activity involves owned media or a pitch to a journalist, we’re applying storytelling techniques in the form of anecdotes, quantification, contrast, etc., that make the content more compelling. Here’s another way of looking at it. We challenge you to find one prospect or customer who has exclaimed, “Wow! That’s a great a message.”
But you do hear the same people sharing stories that make an impression.